Lochia - post-birth vaginal discharge - is a fluid that flows out of the vagina after childbirth. This is a natural process that shows your uterus is healing. For some people, lochia lasts only two weeks, and for most it dries up four to six weeks after giving birth. You have to pay special attention to cleanliness during this time so that no germs get into your body. Even before the birth, you should get a supply of postpartum pads. You get the bandages in the drugstore or in the pharmacy

The placenta disconnects from the uterus after delivery. At the place where the uterus was connected to the placenta, there is a wound about twelve centimeters in diameter. The bloody discharge associated with her healing is the lochia. It contains tissue remnants and wound secretions as well as remnants of the custard-like vernix caseosa that your baby was covered in when they were first born. Lochia is red at first, then turns brownish, and finally has a yellowish-white color. It will dry up after six weeks at the latest.

Breastfeeding your baby can help your uterus recover faster. During breastfeeding, the body releases the hormone oxytocin, which has a positive effect on wound healing. You may feel your uterus contract when you put your baby to your breast. This is a result of hormones releasing. The release of the oxytocin also has a nice side effect: the hormone promotes bonding between mother and child.

If you have given birth by c-section, the flow of lochia is usually weaker because the placenta is removed immediately during a caesarean section. However, it may last longer. The reason for this is that the uterus needs more time to recover.

During the postpartum period, you should pay special attention to intimate hygiene. Germs that get into the wound in your uterus can lead to serious infections. Therefore, please do not use tampons at this time. Instead, you can buy pads specifically meant for postpartum use at the drugstore or pharmacy. You need to change these postpartum pads frequently so they don't become a breeding ground for germs. It's best to do this after every visit to the toilet. You should also rinse and gently dab the outside of your vagina afterwards. Lukewarm water without any other additives is best for intimate care at this time.

Sometimes the uterus does not recover as it should. It can happen that the lochia then becomes weaker and begins to smell. In some cases, it dries up altogether. This complication can lead to uterine infections. Signs of lochia complications are fever, abdominal pain, earache and headache. When a lochia complication has developed, the uterus feels soft and it hurts when you put pressure on it. If you suffer from these symptoms, you should definitely consult your doctor or midwife. Also, if your postpartum lochia flow is particularly heavy and if it contains large blood clots or pieces of tissue, you need to contact an expert. It may be that part of the placenta has not detached properly. Then the wound in your uterus can't heal properly.